RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Department of Human and Health Services is reporting the first identification of the coronavirus variant in a NC resident. The variant called B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom in December, was identified in a sample from an adult in Mecklenburg County. For privacy reasons, no further information was released regarding the individual.
“While expected, identification of this COVID-19 variant in North Carolina is concerning, especially at the same time as we are already seeing very high numbers of cases,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen in a press release Saturday morning. “It is more important than ever to practice the 3Ws.”
In the U.S., 195 cases of the variant has been reported in 21 states as of Jan. 22. Early data suggest that this variant may be more contagious than other variants. Current COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be effective against the new variant.